Monday, February 7, 2011

Reagan and Reality

It's also worth noting that nothing Reagan did in terms of actual action, in fact, shakes the faithful in their adulation. That's because that adulation isn't based on what he actually did, or the results of his actual policies. It's based on his constant reassurances that it's OK to be narrow-minded, bigoted, greedy, dismissive of others' humanity. He offered them a congenial, smiling, imperturbable mirror in which to see themselves. The utter irrelevance of facts, logic and reality here has accelerated into the Busherdammerung, the Tea Partiers' potted constitutional and fiscal ravings and Glenn Beck's paranoid madness, increasingly at remove from anything approximating a grasp of the real world, in fact denying the necessity for it. Their opinions, as I've said, are social markers meant to connote membership in their group. Their correspondence with reality is not only irrelevant, but those who question it, even rightly, are automatically branded elitist liberal constitution-shredding America hating socialist threats to every freedom that made our country great.

There's always been some of that--Richard Hofstadter back in 1960 made the point. But its current incarnation began with Reagan. Another reason they love him.

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